Friday, March 7, 2014 | 6 p.m.
Super Bowl XLVIII is a distant memory. March Madness hasn’t quite arrived. We’ve just passed the halfway mark of the NBA season. What’s a sports fan to do?
Fortunately in Las Vegas, there’s plenty this weekend. There is all the high-speed excitement of two NASCAR races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, then a welterweight boxing battle and a debut kickboxing event.
The track stars of NASCAR are out and about around town, and if you don’t want to get up close to them for photographs and autographs, you’ve got a mega-dose of music and a cavalcade of comedy as alternative choices.
Congratulations are in order for “America’s Got Talent” winner Terry Fator, who celebrates his fifth anniversary at the Mirage tonight. My interview about his run and future plans was posted Feb. 27.
With all the excitement, I don’t want you to miss out on the action expected at the box office in the Hard Rock Hotel starting this morning. Queen (Roger Taylor and Brian May) and glam rocker Adam Lambert play the Joint on July 5 and 6 as part of their new North American tour beginning in Chicago in June. They are a trio of attitude rockers who will mix sex appeal with theatrics and impressive vocal gymnastics.
Out at LVMS, Vince Neil and Carrot Top will be among the celebrities watching to see if Dale Earnhardt Jr. can repeat his Daytona 500 victory Sunday, or will crowd-favorite Jimmie Johnson prove the odds-makers correct? Or could Kevin Harvick pull off two-in-a-row after last weekend’s rain-sprayed Phoenix race?
There’s certain to be feuding and fighting for position on the track, but tougher violence is in the cards for the fisticuffs between Canelo Alvarez and Alfredo Angulo at MGM Grand Garden Arena and fighting feet at the Planet Hollywood kickboxing debut.
Now it’s time now for us start our engines and Katy Perry “Roar” into the ring with our Royal Robin Rundown:
FRIDAY, MARCH 7
Southern rock legends The Marshall Tucker Band headline the official Boyd Gaming 300 Party at Orleans Showroom for two nights.
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are at the Venetian for two nights, and there are only two more weekend dates left in their residency.
Jazz veteran Jimmy Mulidore and his N.Y. City Jazz Band are at the Smith Center for two nights.
Diamond Rio is at South Point all weekend.
Tony Sacca’s “Las Vegas Rocks Variety Show” with Anthony Rais, Stephanie Castellone, Chadwick Johnson, “Dreamgirls Revue” and Next Movement is at Boulder Station.
Nashville Unplugged with Aaron Benward and Brian McComas featuring Jace Everett is at Sunset Station.
Electro-punk legend Gary Numan, Big Black Delta and Roman Remains are at Hard Rock Live! on the Strip.
Bill Engvall returns with his blue collar comedy to Treasure Island.
Cigar-chomping, whisky-swilling Ron White is at the Mirage for two nights.
Tom Green promises satire and storytelling with his comedy-residency debut at Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel that runs through April 28.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Tickets are on sale for Katt Williams on May 25, Widespread Panic with three different special guests July 2, 3 and 4 and Queen with Adam Lambert on July 5 and 6 — all at the Joint.
Tickets are on sale for Styx, Foreigner and Don Felder at Orleans Arena on July 25.
Three Square’s Spring Restaurant Week at more than 50 restaurants is all weekend: HelpOutDineOutLV.org.
The West Coast Conference Championships for men’s and women’s basketball — go, Gonzaga Bulldogs! — is at Orleans Arena all weekend.
Double Barrel Roadhouse, SBE’s latest venture on the Strip, opens at Monte Carlo.
Kyle Busch’s “Behind the Driver” Q+A sponsored by Monster Energy is at Stratosphere Theater. Ask him about his May 25 1,000-mile double drive at the Indy 500 by day and the Charlotte 600 by night. And one lucky fan will get to challenge him at blackjack.
Check out our NASCAR Weekend post Thursday for all the driver autograph sessions and the daily timetable of events this weekend.
First Friday, the largest arts and cultural festival in the western U.S., is downtown.
Season 4 of Animal Planet’s “Tanked” begins with Wayde King and Brett Raymer based in Las Vegas.
Adult-film actress Tabitha Stevens — with more than 300 XXX films — celebrates her birthday at Crazy Horse III.
SATURDAY, MARCH 8
Country music star Phil Vassar is at Santa Fe Station.
Brooklyn Bowl has a quiet opening with the Bowlive debut of Soulive with George Porter Jr. in The Linq for two nights.
Pianist Alexander Schimpf joins the Las Vegas Philharmonic for Masterworks IV: “Rising Star” at the Smith Center.
Alter’d Ego is at Railhead in Boulder Station.
REO Speedwagon performs a free concert on Third Street Stage at Fremont Street Experience.
The Kid and Nic Show is at Lounge at the Palms.
The Neighborhood are at Mandalay Bay.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
NASCAR Boyd Gaming 300 is at LVMS.
At MGM Grand Garden Arena, it’s Canelo Alvarez vs. Alfredo Angulo, Leo Santa Cruz vs. Cristian Mijares, Omar Figueroa vs. Ricardo Alvarez and Jorge Linares vs. Nihito Arakawa.
The “Every Piggy Counts” Pig Out event benefitting AFAN is at Tivoli Village during the farmers market.
Twelve Master French chefs (five of whom are Las Vegas food stars) present taste treats galore at the Venetian with their outdoor Tour de France culinary event.
World Title Kickboxing is at Planet Hollywood.
By day, Jay Z’s official tour DJ, Jus Ske, opens Encore Beach Club at Steve Wynn’s Encore for the new summer season, and by night Nick Cannon is guest DJ next door at Surrender.
SUNDAY, MARCH 9
Harrah’s headliner “Million Dollar Quartet” performs the pre-show and sings the national anthem and the USAF Thunderbirds are up in the sky for the Kobalt 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at LVMS.
One Night of Queen by Gary Mullen & The Works is at the Smith Center.
Rebel Souljahz, Anuhea and Fortwentydayz are at Hard Rock Live! on the Strip.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Actress Sofia Vergara (“Modern Family”) joins with Robert Earl’s Buca di Beppo restaurants for the “Meatballs 4 Ninos” campaign benefitting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
We’ll be back Sunday with the NASCAR 300 race highlights and follow Monday with all the photos and driver and celebrity reports from Kobalt 400. And don’t forget to move your clocks forward one hour for daylight saving time at 2 a.m. Sunday.
Next week, we have interviews with Olivia Newton-John, Jason Alexander and a beautiful photo story of Korean cuisine from Las Vegas “Top Chef” cheftestant Shirley Chung.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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